Bagul demands restarting of ‘Hello My Friend’ helpline

ST Correspondent
Monday, 2 July 2018

Pune: Following the low response and lack of funds, the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) Social Welfare Department’s programme for the youth, ‘Hello My Friend’ in the city has been discontinued. 

Launched in 2015, the helpline received only 240 calls from youngsters to enquire about career options. This programme was part of PMC’s youth welfare initiative. Now, Aba Bagul,  former deputy Mayor and senior corporator of Congress has demanded that the programme be restarted.   

Pune: Following the low response and lack of funds, the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) Social Welfare Department’s programme for the youth, ‘Hello My Friend’ in the city has been discontinued. 

Launched in 2015, the helpline received only 240 calls from youngsters to enquire about career options. This programme was part of PMC’s youth welfare initiative. Now, Aba Bagul,  former deputy Mayor and senior corporator of Congress has demanded that the programme be restarted.   

A senior official of Social Welfare Department of the PMC said that a call centre for this helpline was set up in Kamala Nehru hospital.  The PMC’s Standing Committee and General Body meeting had given permission to run this programme for one year on trial basis. The Standing Committee sanctioned Rs 8 lakh to run this helpline for one year. After one year, it stopped due to low response. 

‘Hello My Friend’ was the brain child of Bagul, he said, “It is true that initially the helpline got low response. However, the administration does not want to restart it. It is a good initiative aimed for youths to share their issues and tensions with experts.” 

PMC officials added, “Last year too, Corporator Bagul demanded  restarting of the programme. But the Standing Committee passed the proposal in March 2017. So we could not start the programme.”

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